How to Fail at Content Marketing

February 25, 2014 by

We're in a marketing world that's constantly evolving, and content marketing is no different. In this ever-changing world, for every content marketing success, there's a failure first. Learn these content marketing no-no's and be one step closer to a content plan that works.

Blogging for the Sake of Blogging

As Jason Falls often shares, "Don't blog to blog." You may experience pressure to create or update your company blog, but if you don't have a plan and goal around it, the effort is a waste. Before you even start typing, know your goals, audience and schedule so your blog is frequently updated with on-topic, relevant content. If you can't commit to that, don't blog at all.

Running on Your Own Schedule

Sure, that brainchild ebook idea may be smart, but if it's not relevant to your company message, initiatives or offerings, you'll be the only one enjoying it. Work with your entire marketing department, sales, PR, etc. to understand the big events, product launches, campaigns and other initiatives happening for the year, the quarter and the month so your content can be directly tied in. This will also help you create a content calendar and schedule. Then, when you generate leads from your content, the leads have a natural next step.

Related Class: Strategic Blogging: The Why and The How

Forgetting to Triple-Check Your Work

No matter how great the content, if you have typos, the credibility is gone. After all, when's the last time you shared an article riddled with errors? Don't just double-check your work, triple-check it. Make it a top priority. Get an extra set of eyes on your content or hire a dedicated proofreader.

Always Be Closing

The traditional ABCs of sales does not apply to content marketing. Sure, you want your content and work to drive revenue (and if you do it right, it will), but pushing your audience toward a sale is not the right approach in this type of marketing. The right way is Jay Baer's "Always Be Helping" mentality. Solve your audience's business problems with helpful, relevant, non-product-related content, and they'll keep coming back for more. Soon those return visitors will become return customers.

Launching and Then Moving On

Oftentimes, after a piece of content goes live we wipe our hands and move onto the next project. This is a huge mistake. This is actually where the work first begins. Once your content goes live, plan a campaign including paid and organic media. Create other types of content around it such as an infographic, SlideShare presentation, blog posts, etc. that all support the initial piece. Ensure the campaign not only has a big push at the beginning, but has support throughout the year. For instance, launch those supporting content pieces weeks or months later. The long-tail effect of that content may be greater than the initial splash.

Set It and Forget It

Let's say you do that big launch and you automate your promotional efforts around your content. Good job, but don't forget that your eyeballs are still crucial in the process. Oftentimes, we launch a campaign and let it ride. But the beauty of social media and big data is the ability to see your results live and in real time. Check the data and feedback around your content every morning and optimize based on your findings. A headline change or responding to a tweet can be the difference between a good campaign and a goal-crushing campaign (or the difference between a prospect and a customer).

Keep these tips in mind when working on your next content marketing campaign and you'll be one step closer to an eventful 2014.

What other mistakes have you learned from? Please share your thoughts here.

If you need to start the process of improving your content marketing strategy today, enroll in Amanda Nelson's Online Marketing Institute class, 10 Advanced Strategies to Mobilize Your Content Marketing, to explore 10 actionable strategies that can be implemented as soon as today to improve your content's impact. 

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